Analysis: What was going on behind the scenes in F1 British GP and why did the race end as it did?
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Vettel and Verstappen
Strategy Report
Posted By: James Allen  |  18 Jul 2017   |  3:33 pm GMT  |  308 comments

The British Grand Prix turned out to be a dominant win for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, but the strategy that underlined the rest of the race outcome was fascinating as teams were caught in two minds whether to go with two stops or one.

And many, having opted for the latter due to low degradation in the opening stint, found themselves with tyre problems at the end of the race. Ferrari suffered two costly tyre failures in the closing stages.

Vettel pitted early to undercut Verstappen, having lost time behind him in the early laps. But later in the race, with Valtteri Bottas coming up quickly from behind on a one-stop reverse strategy (soft tyre first, supersoft second), Vettel didn’t have the scope to do a two stop strategy without losing position to the Finn, so he went for the finish on the same set of tyres.

Vettel, Verstappen

Conversely both Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo defied these issues and forced their way through the field from 9th and 19th places respectively with offset strategies, which took advantage of the ‘overcut’ (running longer than your rivals) and of the powerful DRS advantage at Silverstone.

The key to doing well was having strong front tyre stability through the high-speed esses at Maggots/Becketts, which gave a good exit onto the Hangar Straight for an overtake into Stowe corner. We saw speed differentials of over 30km/h there between cars with and without DRS, but only if the front tyres were holding on.

Another thing that caught out several teams was that the pit loss time was longer than in previous seasons, as the cars were travelling more quickly on the track relative to the cars in the pit lane. For teams that were limited on engine mileage in practice and were not able to devote three laps to a simulation of this, positions were lost in the race.

So what was going on behind the scenes and why did the race end as it did?

Renault F1 team

Pre Race Expectations

Pirelli decided to bring the supersoft, soft and medium tyres to Silverstone; a revision to their original plan of a step harder. The idea was to try to create more variability in the strategies as most races this year have featured only two of the compounds and have largely been one-stop affairs.

Friday practice running was not interrupted by rain and the teams covered a good mileage. Mercedes did not do much long run work on the soft tyres, while Ferrari did a good back-to-back comparison with both cars.

The data showed that Mercedes had a long run pace advantage on supersoft of around three to four tenths of a second to Ferrari, while Red Bull was over a second off, followed by Williams, Force India and an improved Renault.

Degradation on Friday looked like it would tend towards a two-stop race, with the undercut looking quite strong (ability to pit for a new set of tyres before the car ahead and jump him when he stops). The indicator for that is when the degradation is around 1/10th of a second per lap, or more.

But we have seen the Pirellis behave differently on a Sunday compared to a Friday many times, so strategists were looking to the degradation rate in the first stint as the key indicator or whether to go for one or two stops.

Silverstone 2017 F1

On Sunday the degradation was much lower than expected on supersoft so everyone could increase his first stint length. However the degradation was ‘sinusoidal’ which means that it didn’t degrade in a linear way, but had accelerated phases and calmer phases. Managing that and the stint length was very important and one of the reasons why Bottas and Ricciardo did so well.

The other surprise as that the soft tyres were not as fast as expected. The front tyres became the limitation, rather than the rears. Blistering appeared, which didn’t affect the lap time performance but was worrying for the teams, as it often goes down to the canvas.

Bottas had finished the race in Austria with a large blister on his front tyre and in the Grand Prix at Silverstone it wasn’t only the faster cars that push their tyres hardest which suffered. Even Sauber, that has the least downforce of any team, suffered blisters at the end.

The debate then was whether to make a precautionary late pit stop, even if it meant sacrificing track position. When you are well up in the points, as Ferrari and Max Verstappen were, this was a tough decision.

When the Ferrari tyres failed and both drivers had to pit, that allowed Verstappen to make his cautionary stop just before the end, without losing position.

Daniel Ricciardo
Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo on a roll

One of the standout drives was Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull, who had to start 19th after a power unit issue in qualifying. Like Bottas, his best strategy was to offset himself against the other cars and create opportunity to pick up places when they stopped or by overtaking them. He managed to go to Lap 32 on a set of supersofts, giving him an offset of almost 10 laps against the Force India cars and Hulkenberg.

Ricciardo made many overtakes in this race, especially into Turn 15, Stowe corner. He managed to maintain strong pace and keep the front tyres alive so that when he exited the high speed esses onto Hangar Straight he had a high closing speed that when the DRS was then opened, he could easily pass. For example when he passed Perez in the Force India, he was doing 320km/h with DRS and Perez was doing 288km/h. Although Perez has a Mercedes engine in the back of the car, he could not cope with that speed differential. Ricciardo also passed many cars into Turn 6, Brooklands, at the end of the other DRS zone. He passed both Saubers, Kvyat, Stroll and at the end of the race Hulkenberg into there.

This was an extreme example of a phenomenon we have seen a lot this season; on a track like Silverstone the DRS is very powerful as the drag is higher in the first place on these cars and the front tyre limitation accentuated that on Sunday.

Valtteri Bottas was forced to start 9th after a gearbox change penalty and used a reverse strategy of starting on soft tyres, then using supersofts at the end. Mercedes were hoping that Ferrari and Red Bull would get into a strategy battle where one undercut the other, which would give Mercedes the chance to go long with Bottas to Lap 32 and overcut Verstappen. He was also able to get Vettel because the tyre offset at that point when Bottas caught Vettel meant he was on fresher Supersofts with Vettel on older softs. This is exactly what happened with Vettel on Verstappen.

Valtteri Bottas

However, Bottas would not have caught Raikkonen had the older Finn not hit problems with his front tyre at the end.

There was a point in the race, between Laps 35 and 40, when Ferrari could have been forgiven for thinking about switching their cars around, with Bottas closing in on supersoft tyres and Raikkonen just 4 seconds ahead of Vettel.

In fact there wasn’t even a discussion about it on the radio.

On the face of it, it would have made sense as it would have given Vettel protection from Bottas in the closing stages and the flat spot he got on his front tyre -fighting with Bottas – that later failed, could have been avoided.

But the reality was that Raikkonen was out of reach of Bottas and by slowing Raikkonen down to let Vettel pass, the team risked losing both positions to Bottas. It would have needed Raikkonen to fight with great commitment to hold Bottas at bay.

So this was an interesting decision. If Ferrari’s interest was purely Vettel’s drivers’ championship campaign, they might have tried it. But here the decision was to try to secure second place for Raikkonen, who had been the stronger Ferrari driver at Silverstone anyway.

Vettel’s race was compromised by losing a position to Verstappen at the start and then by pitting early to make the undercut on Verstappen, which meant he had a longer second stint than ideal on the soft tyres.

Verstappen can now afford to be very aggressive in races as his chances of winning the championship have gone, so that is something Ferrari and other rivals have to bear in mind when thinking of race strategy. Ferrari had to go even more aggressive on him to get Vettel ahead and ultimately paid a price.

The other small point worth noting is that Esteban Ocon finished ahead of Sergio Perez in a race for the first time, having passed him off the start line.

The UBS Race Strategy Report is written by James Allen with input and data from several of the leading teams’ strategists and from Pirelli

Race History & Tyre Usage Charts – Kindly supplied by Martini Williams Racing

The gaps between the top three teams are the largest they have been this year and between them and the rest is a gulf. Silverstone was a painful weekend for many F1 teams as they came to terms with their relative pace.

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308 comments

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1
Stephen Taylor

Verstappen can now afford to be very aggressive in races as his chances of winning the championship have gone, so that is something Ferrari and other rivals have to bear in mind when thinking of race strategy. Ferrari had to go even more aggressive on him to get Vettel ahead and ultimately paid a price.

.
James just out interest do you think Ricciardo's chance of winning the WDC are not gone ? Personally I don't think either RB driver has prayer of beating one of the current top three to the WDC as they are coming from too far back. . RB are nearly but not quite there with Ferrari and Mercedes. Kimi of course has no chance of being WDC either.

2

James I got a question to you, or anybody else in here who may know the answer, when Vettel's tyre popped on the last lap, Hamilton was fast approaching to lap him, so instead of pulling into the pits and changing the tyre which costed him a few places shouldn't him just slowed down a bit more and let Hamilton lap him before the finish line, this way he would cross the line, either way on the pit entry or on the track right after Hamilton had completed the race and would still keep his 4th place.
Would t that be legal?
That's what I thought he was going to do on that final lap and I was totally surprised that he pitted and ended up doin another lap...

3

Ricc championship challenge just isn't going to happen, even if RB can wholly eliminate the performance gap & make their car bulletproof reliable the points gap is much too large now, especially as it would require both leading contenders to implode.

4

Red Bull certainly doesn't seem to think so, as they recently rebuffed the idea of employing team orders (but then, it wouldn't be the first time they refused to use team orders to benefit an Australian...).

It's a funny thing though: they may have buckleys of beating a Merc or Fez in a straight fight on a power circuit, but the mathematical possibility is still there. Ricciardo's consistency with that run of podiums could result in him making gains if Hamilton / Vettel / Bottas have a few DNFs or off weekends.

5

@ BigH...the odds are extremely long on this one! I very much doubt that it is possible as there are just too many variables to be overcome. That said, what about BREXIT and what about TRUMP? Thy were all very very long shots! Much and all i would dearly love to see it,no, Daniel will not win the WDC.

6

Ricciardo's consistency with that run of podiums could result in him making gains if Hamilton / Vettel / Bottas have a few DNFs or off weekends.

I suggest that you do not hold your breath for this one. it's a astronomically long shot.

7
Tornillo Amarillo

Ricciardo... when the DRS was then opened, he could easily pass.

Can FIA do it less easy and still keeping the DRS thing?

8

Not fair, the whole quote tells the true story ..................

Ricciardo "managed to maintain strong pace and keep the front tyres alive so that when he exited the high speed esses onto Hangar Straight he had a high closing speed that when the DRS was then opened, he could easily pass."

The true driver skill here is "keeping the front tyres alive" whilst still maintaining "strong pace". That's why the pass was possible, not DRS on its own.

The DRS is simply a "compensation" measure on the following straight for the loss of front downforce in the corner leading onto that straight. Without the DRS that handicap, of following in the dirty air, would be too great to overcome. The ability to use DRS is simply pay back for maintaining the strong pace and keeping the front tyres alive.

Doing away with DRS would means that only cars with superior engine power would be able to pass. With the DRS it means that cars with the same or even slightly less engine power are able to overtake, as long as they a good enough drivers to get the entry onto the straight right.

In simple terms, DRS should stay until such time as the handicap of following in dirty air is removed.

9

Nice call out Gary!

10

I reckon the FIA should change the DRS zones into less likely places to pass, rather than the obvious ones. That way, we can see drivers pass each other unassisted, as well as taking a boost into less likely opportunities.

11

Yes. Just shorten the zone. It's difficult though because if you make it difficult for a Red Bull to pass a Sauber, you make it impossible for a Ferrari to pass a Merc. In Formula 2 I think they get limited usage of 6 times, so that could be a way.

12

James as events panned out Lewis had both Ferraris covered by his excellent drive. I also think that had Ferrari ordered Kimi to allow Vettel pass him Bottas would have overtaken both in any case because he was at this stage faster then them. One thing is for sure although Ferrari had the upper hand at the begining of the year re tyres Mercedes is now the faster car both in qualy nd race trim albeit not by the kind of margin we saw in previous seasons

13

From lap 18 to about 23 HAM put on about a second a lap on RAI. That's telling. The Merc seems to favour tracks with high speed straights and corners. Doesn't seem to be able to get enough heat into the tyres at slower tracks to turn them on. Monza, Spa, Texas, and to a lesser extent Japan the Merc I predict will be the chassis to beat. The rest will be very competitive

14

The entire Mercedes long wheel base concept is designed to make the car a beast at tracks that have medium to high speed corners and straights. Since those tracks dominate the F1 calendar, the Mercedes chassis is going to shine at those tracks. The surprise for Mercedes, this season, was (1) Ferrari's amazing race day tire wear, and (2) Mercedes inability to work their tires wear and thus give their drivers good strategy options. Since the mess at Monaco, Mercedes has spent their time correcting that weakness. If you look at the results table since, the Mercedes has not been beaten on track since Monaco (Baku does not count because that was like a bad own goal in sudden death). Ferrari should be concerned, Mercedes has slowly started regaining their mojo in race trim, and the qualifying time delta between the two teams is increasing rather than decreasing!

15

Since the mess at Monaco

I read that Merc ran their simulator round the clock, for 10 straight days after the problems at Monaco in an effort to understand and get on top of the tyre issues they had. That kind of 'madness' is one of the things that I've always found appealing about F1.

16

That and the long wheelbase.

17

Fully agree.
The reason Ferrari didn’t swap positions is NOT because they don’t favour their lead driver – currently Vettel – because based on extensive evidence available (current and historic) that is clearly the case. They didn’t swap positions because that would have given Bottas at least 4 seconds for free and allowed him to pass both their drivers instead of just one. So instead of (hopefully) finishing P2 (Rai) and P3 (Vet), they knew that by swapping, they would have finished P3 (Vet) And P4 (Rai). And that would have been quite dumb.

18

They didn't swap between laps 35-40 because of your point. It would have given Bottas 4 seconds for free.

But I think they would have swapped on the last lap or the last corner to give Vettel the advantage.

It is all academic now.

19

You've missed my whole point. They didn't swap because in all likelihood, Vettel would have still finished third but Kimi would have dropped from second to fourth (loosing them constructors points).
Of course they would have swapped given any other scenario including if, by some miracle (becuase this was near impossible), both their cars were still ahead of Bottas at the end of the race.

20

Brilliant analysis JAF1.
Mercedes have unlocked more power from that beast of an engine. Now they've got some idea how to bring in the tyres they look imperious. Though Budapest will be the main factor in high well they've progressed. Hot circuit the tyres may bring on unexpected results. Hopefully it'll be sorted.
Lewis drove an awesome race as did Bottas.
Kimi deserved second but his tyre went bye bye.
Ferrari on the back foot with Red Bull coming on strong. Especially with the magnificent bumper car driving from Max V.
Good result from Hulk and Renault though JP is on another hiding from a season full of 'Murphys Law'.
Mclaren are back to dancing with Honda now that it's gone all quiet at Mercedes. Sauber now without Honda. Honda back hugging clawing onto Mclaren ...however painful.
Mr Torpedo still hasn't learnt his lessons same as Grosjean the Moaner or Head Whinger of F1.
Roll on Hungary 😊

21
Tornillo Amarillo

Esteban Ocon finished ahead of Sergio Perez in a race for the first time, having passed him off the start line.

Yes, Ocon is UP,UP,UP !!!

His learning curve is just vertical!

22

You know a vertical curve can go down ....

23

One thing I observed these past couple of weeks is that my sense of fairness tells me that people should pay for the wrong they do. Sebastian Vettel is feeling it, Fernando Alonso is experiencing it for the past three years. Isn't it amazing! I personally don't like the phrase, "move on!". How could one forget what Alonso did to Hamilton and Nelson Piquet Jr. -- in the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying session, and during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, respectively?

24

Wow you should share this theory with the historians, after centuries of only good people prospering on earth :P. Oh yes. By the way Enoch, what happened in 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying session, who started that?

25

Alonso started the Hungary incident by deliberately slowing down, in order to back his teammate Lewis into the clutches of Raikkonen, this loosing Lewis places. Alonso, again, cheating, because he couldn't beat a Rookie in a straight fight. Again, fighting against his "own team".. All because he couldn't beat a Rookie, all because the hype went to his little head years ago.

26

Bit like Lewis in Abu Dhabi '16?

27

If following Enoch's wild karma theory, I wonder then what Hamilton did to deserve such repeated bad karma through most of the 2016 season??

28

And Lewis slowed down last year to back Rosberg in the last race but I don't see you complaining. They can be part of the same team but the first person you need to beat in F1 is your teammate.

29

block rosberg from doing what exactly?

30

Who could one forget what Hamilton did to Alonso for the whole 2007 season.

31

Just remember that karma never serves ill intent. Being happy about another's bad karma will eventually come back to you. So yeah, if you want to remain wallowing in your bitter memories rather than celebrating the moment, that's is your choice. Moving on is not such a bad thing.

32

I feel that you may have had Hungary 2007 reversed: Hamilton fired the first shot that day but not giving up track position on the first run against team's plans. It's just that Alonso was made to look like the bad guy when he held up the tyre change and prevented Lewis from getting his final lap in.

33

LH broke no FIA rules that day, while FA did. Even if FA started P2 and finished P2 that race he'd be champion. Revenge meant no title.

34

Alonso was made to look like the bad guy

Do you think if he could have that moment and all that followed it again ,he would do things differently? Try and keep a calmer head maybe? It's sort of haunted him ever since and almost certainly cost him the 3rd WDC he is said to crave so badly.

35

C63, I wonder why Fernando was made to look like the bad guy, I wonder why he was the one who had to leave while Lewis got to stay for another 5 years? Strange that McLaren would take the side of a rookie over a double world champion isn't it? I wonder if a lot of things happened that year that we never got to hear about, and the corrosive member of the team was actually Fernando?

36

Indeed Tim. The thing I can never quite get my head round is; if Alonso is such great shakes, then why don't the top teams find a seat for him? He's clearly a very capable driver but McLaren were happy to let him go at the end of 2007 and I didn't get the impression they were all that keen for him to come back when he fell out with Ferrari. If he really is so good why don't Ferrari want him back - they have the perfect opportunity right now with Seb's contract being up at the end of this season and new management in place, yet they have stated publicly they're not interested . Or why don't Merc get rid of Bottas at the end of this year? Again, Merc have said no thanks. There has got to be more to this than meets the eye imo.

37

C63. Yes, lots of seats available next year, so we will see if they are all desperate to rectify their error in not signing him before! I would expect Mercedes to sack Lewis and hire Fernando, as apparently they only took Lewis because the great Alonso wasn't available...
in all seriousness, there has to be some reason behind his continued unemployment by the big teams, he clearly is, as you say very capable, but they still don't want him, I wonder why this is? Maybe they dont like the constant slating of the team and engine supplier that he has been indulging in these past few years?

38

They all crave championships, that's not only to Alonso. It's clear Dennis hid his agreement with Alonso from everyone including Mercedes and even Whitmarsh who only found out years later. Alonso was simply put in a lousy position by Dennis. Ask Ron Dennis if he could do things differently, he's been removed twice and lost his company. Martin Whitmarsh has already gone on record saying he'd have done things very differently if he'd known of Dennis' promise.

Alonso did what anyone would have done, tried to join his childhood team Mclaren, left his dream team Mclaren after that saga and joined the team he had won two titles with, Renault. He was courted by everyone including Red Bull but he went with the most successful manufacturer of all time, Ferrari. There he raced tremendously well, lost 2 titles at the last race through admitted Ferrari strategy mistakes while driving a slower car. He's shown no haunting as a driver he's done everything a team has ever asked. No one could have anticipated a fizzy drinks team would go on to dominate, and Mercedes would then take the hybrid era after. After Ferrari he opted to try for his childhood dream again, this time with Mclaren Honda. None of his career steps were illogical in fact to most it was the most logical, but a lot of fans seem to think it's karma to suit their own theories. If Karma is true in totality then Alonso must be a good guy to have an awesome life regardless.

39

BTW, I forgot to mention that I don't believe karma exists.

40

Alonso did what anyone would have done

What, blackmail the team? If you say so cheesy. How about Singapore 2008 - is that what anyone would have done as well? Please don't tell me that Alonso wasn't privy to what was going on there.
Anyway - all I was saying is if Alonso could have his time again, do you think he might have done things differently ? Whatever the provocation it's hard to argue his reaction wasn't extreme and the consequences dire.

41

2 wrongs dont make a right! So what we are saying here is FA felt that aggrieved he retaliated by doing what he thought was the best way to get back at LH??? Wow. Go figure! Nothing like hurt feelings getting in the way of good sportsmanship now is there! Just ask Seb! 😉

42

Hopefully Vettel will be served a double dose of bad luck in Budapest and end up having a fight with his own shadow in the summer break ...if it exists. I hear he has to be liberally basted in Bavarian cow chowder before he can come out in day light. Sore ring piece from over exposure to the black stallion. 😉
Maybe a light rake of Light pounders from North Easterly direction may help him relax the ring 😄
Though I doubt anything can help the road rage shrek.

43

Bingo! Well said Sir. Enoch you should read his comment and get that fact correct.

44

That's something i have in common with the proverbial Elephant. I never forget.

45

Big Elephant 🐘
Big John ? 🐘🍨🍧🍦🍰🍩

46

That;s not how it works in the world..

47

So Hamiltons engine blowing up in Malaysia was him paying for gaming the system by stocking up on engines.

48
Tornillo Amarillo

POLE is more important now than ever, with a good start it can be difficult to reach the leader.

P2 would be desperately seek by 5 cars, Max style over Vettel. So cars can get easily flat spots, damage over curbs, clashes, etc.

So IMO Ferrari should work more in Qualy for Vettel and maybe more in race mode for Kimi, I don't know if that is possible.

49

If you think of it, Ferrari as a car, is already up there and on par with Merc on Qualifying. It is the reason why it's not surprising to see Ferrari on the front row this season. For a pole, they will net their car to be slightly faster than Merc, otherwise if all things are equal and there are no glitches, Lewis will forever dominate the pole position.

50

All of which goes to show how much of a "Team Sport" this racing we love really is !
Thanks, James.

51

Lewis Hamilton well and truly silenced his critics with a faultless weekend, a stunning pole position and a sublime race performance. All that hyperbolic nonsense about him missing the pre-race showcase in the Big Smoke was just a lot of tosh...............

It always cracks me up that most Hammy bashers always trot out the same old tripe that "he's only winning because he has the fastest car." Er, well, so has his team-mate..............and Lewis outqualified Bottas by seven tenth. Three quarters of a second between 2 drivers in equal cars around one of the world's most challenging circuits. And his 𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦 lap time when both cars were in clear air was almost half a second quicker than Bottas could manage. Even at the end of the race when Bottas on the quicker, grippier rubber...........go figure. Also, didn't Senna have the best package in the McHonda of the late 80s/early 90s? Of course, when Ayrton won it was because of his superior talent, and if Lewis wins it's because of the superior car.............

Lewis win to starts ratio is about 30%, similar to Schumi, and better than Senna (25%) and Prost (24%)...............but still, to most Hammy bashers, never let empirical evidence get in the way of a good hatred, eh?

52

I don't know about Hamilton but the take away for me is, If you HAVE a MERCEDES, you can TRULY SILENCE your CRITICS. Definitely, will consider this factor when buying next car. 😀

The Quali mode and Overtake button is JAW DROPPING AWESOME.

The way Hamilton overtook Vettel in the Spanish GP.. it looked like SEB was some rookie driving a GP2 car.

By Jove, that is the kind of CRUSHING DOMINANCE I want on the ROAD with my next car!!!

53

LH outqualified Bottas by 0.7 sec because Bottas made a mistake and locked up. Have you forgotten that Bottas outqualified Lewis in Austria only a week ago?

To compare qualifiying, you need to take an average of the gaps....not base it on a single race....

54

Jon tron, Valterri made a mistake in sector one, but Lewis made up most of that advantage in sectors two and three. What does your average gap tell you?

55

Think you that was spot on... I just have
Stop posting and saying anything on this page... no one including James will speak the truth about Lewis Hamilton and it's deeper then that....

56

No, but I will let context get in the way... I think you would find that in the 80s and 90s, an F1 car would just as often explode rather than cross the finish line. Mechanical retirements often skew win-start ratios from different eras. Hamilton has not had the shocking unreliability that say, Prost had at Renault, Senna had at Lotus or late at McLaren, or Schumacher in 1996.

In fact, every car in which Lewis has sat in F1 has been capable of winning a race, evidenced either by himself or the guy on the other side of the garage. His win-start ration has also picked up considerably in the current turbo hybrid era. His team has won 80% of the races over the last 4 seasons, an advantage the was not often enjoyed by the other drivers you have compared him to.

57

The argument appears to be over Big H - James lists Hamilton as one of the standout drivers of his time in a comment below. I know you value JA's opinion above all others as you told me how important his driver rating was at the end of last season 😉

58

an advantage the was not often enjoyed by the other drivers you have compared him to.

Not often? How do you compare the frequency/quantity of that advantage enjoyed by Schumi vs Senna vs Lewis or even Vettel? From your wording it seems like you have concluded that Lewis enjoyed the advantage the most.

59

Raw statistics-wise, there is no arguing where Hamilton stands. He would be on my short list, but would he be in the select best of the best? Maybe not. Of all the analyses I've seen of driver performance, my favorite is probably the recent Sheffield University study. There are a couple of surprises, and it could be argued that there are certain intangibles that can't be put to a mathematical formula, but ultimately it is pretty exhaustive and tough to argue against.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274080402_Formula_for_success_Multilevel_modelling_of_Formula_One_Driver_and_Constructor_performance_1950-2014

60

this concept was written by an anti Hamilton fan. fangio often took his teammates car when his broke down, to win championships. once he teammate was due to win the championship when fangio took the car and won the championship. how is that fair?

61

Teammates sharing cars were the norm back then! And they also shared the points afterwards. Fangio was/is the all time great - nobody even close. And exactly great example of the perfect versatile driver, having won the WDC for 4 different manufacturers and winning races across several motorsport catagories at same time.

62

best not to twist facts cyber...just like saying it was normal for rivals back in the day to crash into each other in order to win championships so it was ok for schumacher prost and senna to do it.
how can it be acceptable for fangio to take over his teammate's car after his failed to win a championship while his teammate had the chance to win that same championship by driving his car to the line? he bullied his way into the fastest car available, even midseason. each time he realised his car wasn't good enough to win the championship, he jumped ship into the fastest car available. that is not demonstration of a great. that is a clear demonstration of a cheating bully who just wanted to win because he could, not because he was better than the rest of them at driving....
hamilton is only keen on demonstrating that he is the best at not only driving the car but preparing it for victory. he stays with his teams long term, working with each department to inspire them to perform at their best. a big difference between the two approaches.
hamilton has demonstrated time and time again that he is the best at qualifying, defending, overtaking, wetweatger driving, celebrating victories and promoting the sport.
those are the qualities of the best..not cheating, deliberately crashing into other cars, running away from teams because the car isn't good enough, using cheating aids to win, blocking tactics, ensuring your teammate work for you and can't challenge you or bribing mechanics to give you the best service..
face the reality cyber..

63

Aveli, you appear to be the bully yourself in how you adress fellow posters. I never twist facts. What are you on to??? Fangio and other drivers of his era followed the rules on how cars and points were to be shared. So why do you say 'cheating'??? You are the one twisting facts! Its frequently unbearable agressive postings ordinary posters are being met with on this forum. Tell me if I have misunderstood the guiding principles that JA have listed for posting here.

64

please tell me one thing cyber....could fangio qualify, defend, overtake, brake as late, drive in the wet, wins as often, celebrate as well and promote f1 as well as hamilton does? how can he possibly be described as the best when he couldn't do all of the above better than hamilton? those are all the faculties of driving Andy he wasn't as good.

65

very interesting cyber,
let's look at the untwisted truth then shall we. did you ever see fangio race?
this fact is on wikipedia, on the final race of the season, after suffering a failure, he took over his teammate's, who had the perfect chance to win the championship himself, car and drove it to share the points for fangio to be champion. how's that fair?
that is bullying which ever way you look at it afterall they started with a car each, each with an equal of wining the championship. similar to schumacher asking barrichello to slow down and hand the victory to him....barrichello didn't want to oblige and was threatened with several contractual clauses.. he only managed to give up the win on the line..i can tell you this because i witnessed it. i haven't witnessed fangio racing but facts are facts. i've seen images of him and he doesn't look like an athlete...more like bully..

66

@Matthew
Thank you for linking us to that mind boggling post 😀 it was fun and funny!

But when it comes to the greatest driver, stats and maths mean nothing. Because even that statisticians choose the "model" as per personal perspectives 🙂

So if the greatest driver on earth is a matter of personal perception, my formula is the simple-

1.) Did you enjoy Watching a particularly Incredible performance by someone?
2.) Was that performance pitted against someone else's equally impressive performance? (does not necessarily need to be against someone)

3.) Over a period of time, out of all these People that wowed you, watching who was most evocative of them all that moved you?

4.) That is your greatest driver, for there can be no one else who can be greatest for YOU than the person who affected YOU the most. 🙂

67

qualifying
defending
overtaking
wet whether driving
race victories
victory celebration
promotion of f1
are factors which should be considered when determining the best of all time and there isn't a single driver better than hamilton in all of the above..not one!

68

I consider myself so fortunate to have followed F1 for more than 30 years, as none of the WDC over past ~10 years have given that special WOW-experience!

69

Matthew, that tesearch isnt recent, it was done three years ago! The problem with any of these studies is, there are always assumptions made that artificially skew thr data. You simply cant separate the driver from the car, and you cant quantity correctly for mechanical issues and aportion blame for accidents.

70

Tim,

It seems to me that posing the question who is the BEST F1 driver of all time is one that cannot be answered with any absolute certainty because of the many variables involved. In addition to the things you mentioned advances in design and engineering have made cars quicker and more complex to drive thereby requiring drivers to have a greater level of skill sets. Because of this I don't think it appropriate or fair to compare drivers of different eras to ascertain who is the "best". This can be said of any sporting discipline where players benefit from better training regimes and the use of technology.

While it may not be appropriate to pose question who is the "best" driver could we not pose the question who has been the most "successful". Of course the answer to this would be Mchael Schumacher with 7 WDCs and associated stats such as race wins and poles, etc.

It's my opinion that Hamilton is the most talented of the current crop of drivers on the grid but if some one asked me who was the most "successful" I'd have to say on the stats alone Schumacher.

71

does it matter how the statistics were acquired?

72

aveli,

If you have convinced yourself that Hamilton is the best or greatest F1 driver of all time and that he leads his engineers in the building of his cars well good for you.

But with respect please stop trying to convince me to your way of thinking because I don't believe a word of it.

73

adrien...you are right that I have expressed that hamilton is the best driver of all time and leads his engineers to build competitive cars with which he wins pole psotions and races with some defending, overtaking and profound wet weather driving on the side...celebrating spectacularly and spreading the popularity of the sport in new communities around the world.
if you dispute that may be you can name a single driver who is able to qualify, defend, overtake, drive in the wet and win races better than hamilton...otherwise it's best not to give me instructions, with all due respect....you don't need to believe anything I say but I have a slight suspicion that you believe everything you see hamilton do on television. I only describe what he does..

74

aveli,

You have your opinion and I have my opinion. You can believe what you want to believe and I can believe what I want to believe. Now as as strange as this may appear to you this is democrocy in action.

The fact that we disagree is a healthy feature of democrocy and therefore not something you have to get too concerned about.

75

by the way adrian...many many journalist travelled to granada, back in 2007, to see hamilton's grandfather soon after hamilton burst into f1, pulling unheard of g forces, defending and overtaking with excitement often associated with houdini..have you ever heard of any driver able to move that level of emotion in the first 3 months of them being in f1? name please..

76

just to remind you, hamilton pulled a staggering 6g under braking while the best of the rest managed 5g during the v8 era. 20% more braking force.
only the best ever leaves the rest in such a wake!

77

i am confused adrian...i have always been of the impression that the reason each of us is able to express our opinions is because we have them.....
oh i get it! is it because you are unable to come up with a name of a driver who can qualify, defend, overtake, brake late, win races, celebrate victories or promote the sport as well or better than hamilton does so you've all of a sudden developed an awareness for opinions?

78

Adrian, even stats can be read in different ways, Fangio entered seven full seasons of F1, he won the championship five times and finished second twice! That record beats Schumacher's if you look at it as a percentage. I t is pointless comparing different eras, Jim Clark didn't have to deal with the downforce levels the current guys do, but give him a modern fitness program and enough testing, and I dont doubt he would be on the pace.
It's always fun to speculate, although I do get a bit irritated when people talk in definite terms "Senna would destroy Alonso" or "put Seb in that Mercedes and he would beat Lewis every time" etc.
Of the current mob it's clear that Seb, Fernando and Lewis are top of the tree, with a few very talented young pretenders snapping at their heals, I have always said that if you put those three in the same team it would be very close between them. It's an unanswerable question, we can just report what we have seen happen up close, and we need to remember that the teams have a very good idea of the current pecking order from their exhaustive data analysis.
Sometimes you don't need team level data to see who isn't doing a great job, did you see Kvyat single handedly destroying Torto Rosso's entire British Grand Prix effort on lap one? It must be the long walk home for him sooner rather than later!

79

Tim,

Pretty much agree with all of that. It really is a pointless exercise comparing drivers of different eras to determine who is the "best". It can't be done although Schumacher's achievements might never the surpassed.

Of the three current drivers you mentioned I wouldn't pick Vettel for a drive if I was a team boss. The guy has shown himself to be too mentally unstable. As Mexico 2016 and Baku this year would indicate. He was even getting frustrated because he couldn't make the pass on Verstappen at Silverstone.

Agree, unless Kvyat drives out of his skin in the second half of the season it's going to be a long walk to Moscow. But apart from his subpar performance on the track by his own admission his relationship with Carlos Sainz is completely broken down something that Marko will have to address.

80

Adrian, if I was a team boss with a big cheque book, I would go for several drivers ahead of Vettel, he can be very quick but he does a have a nasty habit of letting his mouth run away from him.
If Marko has already made the decision to drop Kvyat in favour of Ghasly for next year, then Danil might not get the opportunity to drive out of his skin for the rest of the year....

81

fangio made sure he was in the fastest car every season and his teammate couldn't challenge him for victories. he even changed teams for faster cars midseason....schumacher did the same..hamilton on the other hand ensures his teammate has equal opportunities as himself and the team activities are always within the confines of the rules.
marched into f1 without motorsporting heritage or family cash, taking the sport by the scruff of the neck and leading it to a better place..

82

it is still antihamilton. show me one that was carried out pre 2007.

83

Why is it anti Hamilton? Were all four researchers biased against him?

84

yes, hamilton was their motivation. if that wasn't the case they would have looked at the areas of driving, like qualifying, defending, overtaking, race wins, victory celebration, interaction with emotions of fans, motorsporting heritage and fair play. rather than area that'll go against hamilton.

85

Give me a break. How is it anti-Hamilton? The same mathematical formula is applied to every driver.

86

where Ian the pre 2007 applied mathematical formula?
that will be neutral.
i bet you it doesn't exist.
the only reason that formular was formulated was to prevent hamilton from being widely described as the best ever.
you think schumacher is great? well guess what? we all witness ross brawn of all people replace the great schumacher with an even greater driver to achieve greater things for mercedes. that is the most neutral applicable mathematical formula..nothing else.

87

I'm sure you can tell where I am going with this, but win to starts ratio only tell a true tale if you've had similar lengths of time in a race-winning car. Hamilton has been very lucky to be in competitive cars his entire career. Even Schumi had a number of seasons in non-competitive cars, as did Senna in Toleman and Lotus. Hamilton jumped straight into a car that could challenge for the title. He's in a team that is well on its way to being the most dominant of all time. If you were looking at fair assessment compared to Schumi Senna and Prost, you'd compare their performance only relative to team-mates in equal cars. And I hate to break it to you but Hamilton is nowhere near as dominant as some of the drivers you mentioned, he's miles behind. Oh well. Or is empirical evidence only valuable if it points one way? When you are comparing Bottas of course, you're comparing a new team-mate in the team, coming in, a non-champion vs a champion, and a guy that has been asked to move aside multiple times to let his team-mate through. Just some empirical evidence.

88

wins to starts ratio aside, those who would harm hamilton talk of his ruin all day long they scheme and lie. many have become his enemies without cause, those who hate him without reason are numerous. those who repay his good with evil lodge accusations against him, though he seeks only to do what is good, winning races and championships.

89

dominant? i read elsewhere that Schumacher was so dominant that none of his teammates were allowed to challenge him and that one of his teammates was even asked to slow down for him to win, is that true?

90

Cheesypoof. No luck involved. He got the McLaren drive by impressing them in testing and hitting the numbers in the simulator, he was offered the Mercedes drive because they could see how good he was in their data. He was rehired by Mercedes because they knew by then exactly how good he is. No luck there, just high performance levels throughout his career and one very astute decision. You say Lewis is miles behind the drivers mentioned, where is the empirical evidence that proves this? You realise your opinion doesnt count as evidence right?

91

Gaz, a faultless drive by Hamilton -once of his most dominant wins. But don't for a minute think it makes up for his no-show in London. That was just poor form and no amount of good driving in the fastest car in history can negate his hubris.
This is the thing with Lewis -i sense that the car is so good, he's almost bored and needs to create false drama to try and motivate himself -eg Rosberg's 7 wins on the trot.
A driver of his calibre should not be dropping races to mid-fielders like Rosberg and Bottas (mechanicals aside). IMO he was a better racer at McLaren.

92

think it makes up for his no-show in London

With whom exactly? I sense that nothing he does will ever be enough for some people, as they have a new stick to beat him with. But I think it's fair to say that the 100's of thousands (over the weekend) at Silverstone looked like they weren't holding any grudges against him. In fact I don't think they cared about it at all. Did you see any evidence to the contrary?

93

Lkfe. Is this years Mercedes the fastest car in history? What makes you think this is true?

94

I'm not talking stats Tim -you can't argue with the MB stats.
I'm talking about his focus, and the fact that he had to turn up with his best to win.
These days he can party mid-week, turn up for qualy, hit the boost button to get on the front row, then lob around with the wick turned down in clean air.
Evidence of this is that even Rosberg and Bottas can win in the car.
Other than winning for winnings sake, there's not much to cheer about, and he certainly isn't having to extend himself, is he?

95

Lkfe. You are still lumping all the different Mercedes cars from the last four years together and pretending that ghe advantage the 14,15 and 16 cars enjoyed is still there, but it isn't. This years Merc is faster than the Ferrari at some circuits, but slower at others. Silverstone suited its strengths, and Lewis delivered on that potential, but Seb remains the championship leader, just as he has been since the beginning of the season.
The fact that Lewis' team mates have won races is hardly relevant, I'm not denying that the Merc is a very very good car, I'm saying the Ferrari is as well. Kimi should have won in Monaco remember....

96

Careful there Gaz Boy, you will attract a telling off from a certain person with your "poor choice of language". I was sent to the virtual quiet corner and told to reflect on my comments. So I did. And as I initially first thought, I was completely correct with my assessment! lol

97

@ Ubique...still dreamin eh? hahaha Most times now i never bother to read 'GB's' posts. This time though i did and once again he resorts to using the terms 'bashers' and 'haters' which, IMO, is simply childish. Why not term those who don't particularly like Hamilton as 'critics'. Far more harmonious don't you think, as well as being a bit more 'grown up'.

98

if they don't like hamilton, they must hate him so the term haters is the most appropriate term to use in classifying them.
hamilton fans can criticise him and not hate him or bash him for that matter..

99

Do other drivers also have 'haters' and 'bashers'?

100

you can point them out from the posts can't you?

101

Cyber, yes but Lewis has the most, and the noisiest! I believe this is because he is different to the other drivers, he doesn't do the things they do, or say the things they say, and for some people different is very much a bad thing. Other people lack the intellectual capacity to support one driver without having to have an opposing figure to 'hate on', and as Lewis is widely accepted as at least one of the very best out there, lots of those people see him as a threat to whoever their favourite driver is. And of course some of them are just racist morons!

102

Thank you TimW, I myself prefer diversity! Will though in any case maintain the right to be critical about any driver depending on their actions or qoutes. Incl Hamilton. That does though not mean I have any special desire to 'bash' him. And I do certainly not in any way 'hate' him. One of my personal favorites is Raikkonen. I think most will agree to that he is also 'different'. Whatever happens on the track, he never dishes his engineers, the pitwall or his teammate. To me that is more respectful than drivers non-stop whining, insinuating unfair treatment or questioning Godly interference. (And yes, Kimi is long past his peak...). 😀

103

Cyber, critique away! If it's about Lewis and fair, the I will agree with you, dont fall into the trap of singling Lewis out for doing things all the drivers do, or believing the internet version of events, rather than the real version.

104

most fan and anti fan following because his racing performances are so profound, they reach the inner core of emotions, good an bad..

105

I think so....

106

Kenneth, a critic is someone who appraises someones performance fairly, they would give praise when due and criticism when warranted. You do give Lewis criticism when warranted, but also when not warranted. And lets not pretend you have ever praised the guy shall we....

107

a bit more 'grown up'.

Ok kenneth, deal. You stop using derogatory terms to describe Hamilton fans and I will reciprocate in kind.

108

What! and let all the 'sycophants' have a field day? You do know of course that deep down i personally couldn't care less what people say provided that they stay within the bounds of relative decency.

109

i personally couldn't care less what people say

I may be tempted to test that claim at some point in the future, see how it stands up to 'contact with the enemy' as it were 🙂

110

@ C63 whatever floats your boat.

111

Schumi, Senna and Prost had driven slow cars for couple of seasons. Ham just got the fastest one straight away. How is that fair? Ham and Max are the most overrated drivers in history.

112

Was Mclaren the fastest car throughout he's time there? after answering that did he not win at least one race in each year even when he's team mate could not? was the Merc the fastest car every single year up to now?

If i remember correctly he dragged a DOG of a Mclaren onto the top step more then once and more then the car deserved

113

Hamilton has only had the clearly fastest car for 3 seasons (2014-16). The Ferrari was very slightly better in 2007 & 2008. Then Brawn and Red Bull were better in 2009, and Red Bull was the best car 2010-13.

Then some want to claim that Schumacher had less time in the best car?!? Schumi had the best car 1994-95, and 2000-04. 2003 was close until the FIA handed it to Ferrari with the tire ruling. Could put 1999 in there too, but he only was in there for a half-season.

The irrational argument meter went up quite a bit after Hamilton’s dominant home victory.

114

hamilton worked hard from age ten to ensure that he was in a competitive car when he arrived in f1. he approached ron dennis to ask for a drive aged 10. dennis signed him 3 years later, youngest person to have secured an f1 contract. it was luck. he proved himself worthy.

115

Gaz Boy: Read this comment on Planet F1 and thought it was hilarious.

Jules Thomas:
Breaking News, News just in.. the Greek Govenment have just announced and economic revival to their failing economy.. they will no longer require a Bailout or Grexit from the EU due to the great Work Lewis Hamilton did on his 2day stay on the Greek island Mykonos... there has since been a record high in the GDP from friday since it was reported globally that Hamilton spent his short Hiatous there and went on to display a masterful performance at the British GP.. according to the Greek finance minister and the Greek tourist board, the reason for this rapid growth in their economy is down to the influx off recent bookings, by a number of established companies,looking to boost the performance of their executives, but most notably large investments made by some 19 F1 pilots and teams on a short stay retreats and holiday homes for their Pilots and employees... the Greek government have extended Hamilton with a special Honor, one of the highest to be given to very few of it´s people, by giving him the key to the island... and it is also reported that he is in line to receive the Nobel prize for his contribution to humanity...

116

Very good 😁

117

It always cracks me up that most Hammy bashers always trot out the same old tripe that "he's only winning because he has the fastest car." (…) Lewis win to starts ratio is about 30%, similar to Schumi, and better than Senna (25%) and Prost (24%)...............but still, to most Hammy bashers, never let empirical evidence get in the way of a good hatred, eh?

That all drivers win races via a combination of race craft, skill, consistency, speed, machinery and luck - those are after all the variables in which all winning drivers derive the ability to finish first - should come as no surprise to anyone. That Hamilton’s stats speak for themselves is perhaps why there’s invariably a limit to the need to constantly reference them, and more widely, little need to convince anyone else of them.

“Hammy bash(ing)” aside, as someone with no strong allegiance toward any driver, my perspective - defined and limited by its boundaries - is that Hamilton’s critics tend to be vociferous not so much because of the way he wins, but rather because of the way he abdicates responsibility when he’s not winning. Blaming the tyres, set-up, his mechanics, his team-mate, the team, or indeed, a higher power tends not to engender affection amongst those of a rational disposition who choose to view the nature of the variables as only ever being asymmetrically distributed over a race - that the driver must play his part is a given but to believe winning drivers are not beneficiaries of circumstances beyond their control in a mechanical sport is borderline delusional.

Nevertheless, that the driver only ever has some control of the variables at play should neither prevent us from praising their personal accomplishments on the track, nor criticising their personal failings in and out of the cockpit, and it should certainly not prevent us from pointing out when that driver obviates himself from the latter, despite their best efforts to do so.

Best,

853guy

118

does the fact that you choose to comment more about Hamilton than any of the others not mean anything?

119

Yikes. Well said 853guy.

120

@ 853Guy....I very much liked your post. Excellent analysis. Well done.

121

853guy. Interesting comment, while he can be critical of the team or variables outside his control, its no different from any other driver on the grid. Singling him out as a prime example of such behavior is shortsighted. What I do know is after every single race, lewis never hesitates to thank his team for their efforts.

Recalling monaco 2015 where poor strategy cost him a obvious win, he didn't blame the team - instead, even though distraught said "we win together, we lose together." Even recently in Azerbaijan, it would have been another easy win, had it not been for the poorly installed headrest. Did he complain then?

122

@Oblah

“Singling (Hamilton) out” seemed pertinent as that was the specific driver Gaz Boy suggested had silenced his critics upon winning, hence my reply and the replies of others here offering an alternative take on the “evidence”.

In regard to my short-sightedness, which of these do you consider to be more lacking in perspective: That I offered multiple (well-documented) examples of Hamilton blaming things other than himself for sup-par performances; or that Hamilton himself attributes his non-wins to “the higher power (that) does not want me to be champion”? (1)

Best,

853guy

(1) Yet to hear of another driver in the modern era who believes a higher power would use their available resources to intervene in order to decide a championship. And yes, that makes him very different from all other drivers who accept where they finish is a combination of many factors, of which their own efforts should be considered a contributing variable not above criticism.

123

please point them out for each race right up till the last race. I seem to miss them somehow.

124

853 guy. While I like the general tone of your original comment, I would point out that actually you didnt give any documented examples of Hamilton blaming the things you mentioned for not winning. At what race did Lewis blame his mechanics for not winning a race? When did he blame his team mate for the same thing happening? It appears you are confused about Lewis' higher power comments as well, he was referring to the large reliability mis match between his and his team mates car when he made those comments. There is no reason why Lewis should take responsibility for a failure of the MGUH insulation, or a brand new engine failing in its first race. There isn't a driver in history who would take the blame for that, or fail to complain if his car kept breaking down and his team mates didn't. I can think of several occasions when Lewis has taken responsibility for his own errors, in my opinion he is far better at doing this than many of his contemporaries.

125

There's Danny Ric and then there's this guy.

Would you like to go out on a date some time?

126

Well since you ask I think you're the one that lacks perspective. I've listened to hundreds of Hamilton press conferences and pen interviews and don't recognize your characterization of him. You say you offered multiple examples of him blaming others but you just gave a list that could apply to anyone.

Here's something specific you may want to consider that doesn't fit with your story, from during the Baku race after the headrest issue

Bonnington:
Sorry about that Lewis, mate

Hamilton:
Don’t worry about it guys. Keep your head up. These things happen. Just move on. We had the pace to win this weekend. Let’s take it on to the next one.

And it's great you consider yourself the spokesman for what all the other drivers think. Please do give us some more insights.

127

well said, plus 1.

128

Ah, he complained at Mercedes several times, while having the fastest car on the grid. The fastest car on the grid. He complained at Mclaren when Button starting outshining him, a team that gave him his start. All these have been while in competitive teams and cars. Just stating the facts.

129

Cheesypoof. Is complaining a bad thing? Your continued support for F1's king of complaints makes me think you dont mind it that much!
P.S I wont bother asking you for direct quotes of Lewis' complaints while at McLaren, as I know you dont like having to provide evidence to back up your claims.

130

The king of complaints is the one with the fastest car who still complains, not the one with an uncompetitive car for years. Notice how you constantly ask for proof for things I say, but I hardly ever ask you? It's because I presume you know more than enough and because most of what I say is based on facts, so you can call them out. You present a lot of your beliefs on it, so...you don't provide much proof of anything? I think you've asked me a dozen times for proof on things, and on more than one occasion I have. It's not my job though.

Let's see speaking of Mclaren, remember complaints about Button, ranging from tweeting 'telemetry', which no one looking for peace would do. Then there's the laughable furore over Button 'unfollowing' him on Twitter;

"Just noticed jensonbutton unfollowed, thats a shame. After 3 years as teammates, I thought we respected one another but clearly he doesn't."

He complained about having to do publicity or work hard outside of racing for Mclaren, on many occasions, go look up the links yourself there are many direct quotes. You should know this anyway. Meanwhile Button defended Mclaren and explained the difference between Mclaren and Mercedes.

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing/jenson-button-says-lewis-hamilton-jibes-are-way-off-the-mark-8535413.html

He even complained before Bottas joined, about data sharing, just to make it clear he felt the practice was unfair, not that he didn't accept data in 2007. He did that before his new team mate would join the team, clearly when data sharing would be vital. Ironically, second rate emergency Bottas has outdone him on a couple of races this year.

http://www.express.co.uk/sport/f1-autosport/769370/Lewis-Hamilton-acting-child-Mercedes-could-cut-him-loose-Toto-Wolff-teammates

There you go. Facts presented. Once again...complaining when you are competitive is very different from complaining when you aren't.

131

Cheesy it's his job just to get in a quick retort to any negative Lewis post. Remember Redbull used to do this a lot on here. They would counter any comments with some how getting 1000 thumbs down symbols. It's becoming an industry for people.

Lewis has to protect his online persona. So the small amount spent getting people to go through the comment sections helps keep the image not looking like a guy who did the whole Snapchat weekend and the meltdown during the second half of last season. The more followers and the better perceived his online persona the more money he can charge for averts and stuff like that. Which is fine by me as what else is he going to do when he retires to keep his plane in the air. I'm waiting for the release of his first album.

There are Lewis fans here but there are also those paid to be here.

God bless.

132

Hello. So basically the kind of anti Hamilton nonsense constantly peddled by people like you and Cheesypoof on this site, could only possibly be disagreed with by someone paid to do it?! You keep telling yourself that, and remember to keep thevtin foil sombrero down over your ears....

133

I'm starting to believe you on this, because for a couple of commenters it just, moves from fact to, talking for the sake of talking. Which is pointless to me, but...

134

Cheesypoof, but you still do it! You still come here every single day to take a swipe at Lewis, still try and convince anyone who will listen that they should ignore all the real experts and pay attention to you instead....

135

Simple Gas Lad, LH is better than VB, hence his lead. Too long a posting for a simple conclusion. And Merc is by far the best car, therefore those fastest laps ever, so 2017 is gonna end bad for everybody else.
Can Bottas win, sometimes yes, but don't forget he is the new submissive guy honing his skills yet, so who knows, he may do a Rosberg in the end.

136

Oh and ie,........... turning not the fastest car into a win.

137

How does his wins to poles ratio work out?...........ie, turning the fastest car into a win.

138

This is a dumb stat. Schumi had the fastest race day car most times, that's why he has something like 77 Fastest Laps to his name. Why not wins:fastest laps?

91/77 for Schumi; 57/37 for Lewis. Favours Lewis.

Senna won 41 races from 65 poles. His pole conversion rate was less than 50%, but many of those were mechanical retirements.

Schumi was not a known good qualifier. Senna, Hamilton and Clark are.

139

So the fastest car to race wins conversion is a dumb stat?

Why don't you go ahead and stop posting for a while.

140

Yes, it's a dumb stat. Pole does not always equate to best race-day car. A recent case in point would be Mercedes in 2013. They had a good haul of poles, but would then go backwards in the race.

Race pace is always more important than qualifying pace. In Schumi's era he & Ferrari could always rely on being able to jump cars in the pit cycles.

Thanks for the unsolicited advice.

141

No, poles equate the fastest car. Merc had the fastest car in 2013 they just couldn't keep the tyres. That was a tyre heating problem/testing for 2014. Your example is just one time in the history of F1. Picking out one thing to disprove a general rule is a "stupid" stat.

The Snapchat weekend in Japan (Whispered).

Nico Rosberg is a world champion because of Lewis' self imposed meltdown during the last Japan Gran Prix,............ and generally from Singapore onward. Remember the TV interview he did implying the team of sabotage,..... then the next race his engine blew. Was that God?

God bless and think of the children.

142

Pole means fastest car over 1 lap, on that particular track and those conditions.

Race pace ALWAYS trumps qualifying pace. It's no use being quick over 4-7 kms if you can't then be quick over 305-309 kms.

One time? You don't know F1 history then. See the McLarens in 1982 or better 1984. John Watson won from 22nd because his car was the fastest in the race. Lauda won the 1984 WDC without a single pole, because again they had the best race-day car.

[mod]

143

all 18 with compliant teammates and numerous cheating moves, electronically, mechanically and collisional.

144

Hello. And why dont you go ahead and realise that it isnt up to you who gets to post, and who doesn't.

145

I don't think it's correct to say Schumi was not a known good qualifier. He was good at qualifying. Nobody gets anything for qualifying except track position. Not everyone cares. In many seasons we've seen drivers have to sacrifice qualifying pace for race pace. The only guarantee you can make is if someone has pole chances are they have the fastest car. These stats aren't legitimately comparable then as a reference point since it is only a small part of the story. Similarly not everyone cares about fastest laps if you are cruising around in the fastest car on track saving the engine...

146

is that why Ross brawn replaced schumacher with hamilton?

147

Hamilton will also get old and slow one day, as was Schumacher when he was replaced (after having already retired and been away for years)

148

before hamilton shone his light on f1, most overtaking was done in the pitstops. I remember ross asking schumacher for qualifying laps before pit stop to get him passed cars ahead. hamilton burst into f1 and demonstrated just how much more exciting the sport is with overtaking and mesmerising defensive moves. the only problem was, he could it and the rest of them struggled...and guess what? high rear wings, drs and kers were introduced...like zimmer frames for oaps...only the best of all time bring about such drastic transformations to a sport....am struggling to find a multiple champion who has had such an effect on the sport....please help...

149

did schumacher return to f1 because he was old and slow?

150

Schumacher did not return to F1 because he was young and fast.
Because he was not...

He brought his name and experience, which the team and their sponsors needed at that time to build the team.

151

ross brawn of all people chose to replace schumacher with hamilton. he was fully aware of schumacher' greatness but he needed a greater driver to achieve greater things with..and you can witness greater things being achieved..

152

I actually think that Hamilton while at McLaren was much better than what we have seen him produce at Mercedes. Maybe the car dynamics and racing style back then suited him better? It was much closer and decisive racing instead of today's clinically sanitized parading.

153

those bridgestone tyres allowed hamilton to abuse them to the max without losing performance, that's why hamilton was obvious outstanding in the bridgestone days. he is even more outstanding now but the tyres don't make it look so obvious. hamilton can pull a lot more gforces under braking and steering than the lot of them. in the days of bridgestone we saw raikkonen continue to drive at a good pace with severely flat spotted front tyre until the suspension exploded. now adays the slightest flat spot takes away most of the performance so the tyres are used differently.. that's why most of hamilton's most obviously spectacular drives were during the bridgestone days.
even his gp2 drives show how he could take the tyres to their very limit while the rest of them stayed well within their limits, again he was spectacularly outstanding at gp2...
it is the tyres...

154

i like your line of thought cyber..but that wasn't the case..schumacher wanted to stay for another 3 season and was extremely disappointed to learn that he'd been replaced by a greater driver to achieve greater things.
alonso is proud of his two championships because in his own words, "i won them fighting agains schumacher, he is the benchmark" and we saw how the rookie hamilton dispose of alonso in the exact same car in a team which started the season working on making alonso world champion by swapping positions with hamilton at every opportunity...unfortunately for him, the rookie hamilton was just too fast for all of them that they were exposed in monaco, nearly halfway into the season..
qualifying
defending
overtaking
wetweather driving
race victories
victory celebrations
promotion of the sport
are all the ontrack and off track characteristics displayed by drivers to impress fans.
can you name a champion, in the history of the sport, who is better able to all all of the above than hamilton?

155

Aveli, do you accept that drivers cannot stay at their top forever?
Like it or not, your own Hamilton will be off the grid one day because he is too slow versus the rest. ;o)
And history is full of oldish drivers (and also younger ones) that wanted to have stayed on for more years. But age catches up with everybody, even Schumacher. Of course he would have liked to stay on for some more years to be also around to harvest the fruits of all the hard work he had put into this new team. But he had been out for several years already and he was no longer at his prime. Yes, he could still do a decent job due to his vast experience. Just look at Massa also today. But fast as when he was greatest at his peak. No, quite far from it.

156

Hi James, if the Drs effect was that powerful then why couldn't a four times world champion with a faster car not overtake a teenager with weaker power unit, I don't understand?

158

That's any easy one,..............Max Verstappen.

159

Depends where the car is faster. The Ferrari is the faster car all sectors combined and in free air, but the speed delta the red bull carried through the curves meant it had a 'head start' as it were on the straights. The delta was not enough. Verstappen was defending for all he was worth whereas the lower order cars had no real reason to fight Danny Ric because their real race was not with him.

160

@ Aezy doc..'.their race was not with him [ricciardo]' nonsense, they should be fighting for track position when being challenged. That is the first order of F1...never give up a place voluntarily.

161

Very often places are given up without a fight Kenneth. First rule is get to the end as quick as you can and not compromise your own race in a battle you can't win. Ricciardo drove a great race, but he didn't encounter anyone offering real resistance.

162

never give up a place voluntarily

You must have been watching something else kenneth - the pit wall often will say words to the effect of not getting into a race with someone or other as that isn't their race. Commentary remark upon it as well.

163

@ C63....Never give up a place without some sort of resistance. You should know that all kinds of variables exist...look at the final couple of laps on sunday! To relinquish a position voluntarily shows lack of competitive spirit. That's my opinion and no matter how many pit wall calls there are i will not alter it. As an example, Verstappen, despite being challenged by a faster Ferrari on sunday made a fight of it and has been lauded for his actions. That is what i am talking about in both theory and practice.

164

Verstappen fighting Vettel was a battle worth fighting, as that was the race Verstappen was in. But aesy is exactly right kenneth - a car that's likely to finish in or around the top 10 is just losing time trying to resist a quick car that has qualified out of position. They are simply going to compromise their own race which is with other cars of a similar performance. That's not trying to detract from Ricci's performance, but it is most certainly the reality of the situation.

165

Kenneth I agree that it's better to watch cars fight for position but your argument about what is the first order of F1 is wrong. Maybe it's what it should be, or what your preference is, but it is demonstrably not the reality. Verstappen fought a fight that he could have conceivably (and ultimately did) win. A Sauber fighting a Mercedes (as a hypothetical) for P13 on a track like Silverstone is not a battle they are going to win and it would simply compromise their own race meaning a lower finishing position overall- which is silly. Not resisting an inevitable pass happens very often in F1 and other categories of sport and to suggest otherwise is naive. No one jumped out of Ricciardo's way when they could make a decent defence (was it Grosjean at Luffield?) but why would you resist the inevitable to the detriment of your own race? That said, I agree that it is a better spectacle when Alonso makes his McLaren as wide as possible just because he can.

166

I think you boys are getting a taster of just how wrong Kenny can be, but still refuse to accept it....

167

@ Aezy Doc.... Nothing naive about my comment at all.It matters zip where you are in the pecking order, you never give a place away by standing aside. If a faster car comes then you maintain your pace and line and if they pass you then so be it. It is not a foregone conclusion that you lose track position by defending however if you choose to 'aggressively' defend and lose pace then that would be stupid. You should really read what i have said before you criticise.

168

@ Aezy doc...you're twisting my words. You defend your position by maintaining line and pace...you know 'defending your track position'. How many times do you see drivers making it too easy by leaving the door open. Once again, read my words and think it through. Your comments are unwarranted. My opinion is just that.

169

No kenneth, no twisting. You described what I said as nonsense. Now you agree with me. Plain as day, you have backtracked from your original position. That's it.

170

@Aezy doc...you're still dreaming. Nothings changed..you just wish to reinterpret what i've said to suit your purpose. If you can't accept that then that is your problem.

171

Way to backtrack. You should be a politician.
I'm not criticising. You are entitled to your opinion, but try to be consistent.

Here is what you wrote...
'nonsense'
'they should be fighting for track position when being challenged'
'Never give up a place without some sort of resistance'
And now you have changed that to 'never stand aside' 'maintain your pace and line'.

No one said anything about standing aside, so now you are arguing a straw man you have created in your own head.

Again, I am not criticising, simply pointing out inconsistencies in your argument. It's OK to admit you were wrong or at least realise that you failed to communicate well. I've done so in the past and you have done so here. No biggie.

I think we agree that Verstappen was right to defend and it was good to see. It was not an inevitable pass by the Ferrari. It did, however cost Verstappen lap time (this is important to note as a rear order car would also lose time in defending) but it forced Ferrari into an early stop and had consequences later on. Verstappen was in a genuine race with Vettel.
It would make no sense for Alonso to defend in such a manner against Ricciardo at this track. He would lose lap time in doing so, compromising his real battle with other midfield and rear running teams. It might even gain lap time by letting Ricciardo through and following his tow. It makes sense for Alonso to take the short term loss for the sake of the overall gain. No one is saying anything about jumping to the side, moving over or whatever. Simply not fighting the inevitable and, far from being nonsense, happens all the time.
I reiterate that to claim it doesn't, to brand my point as nonsense is either naive, facile, or wrong.

172

When you look deeper or understand racing you will understand why that didn't happen instead of trying to take a dig, I'm sure you had the same question in Melbourne when Hamilton could not get past him in that race.

173

Out-raced by an incredible talent is what..

174

The key to doing well was having strong front tyre stability through the high-speed esses at Maggots/Becketts, which gave a good exit onto the Hangar Straight for an overtake into Stowe corner. We saw speed differentials of over 30km/h there between cars with and without DRS, but only if the front tyres were holding on.

Because the Red Bull has a better front end than the Ferrari.

175

I only have one question in mind...why is Ferrari falling behind? Something related to the culture, mentality? Internal politics to the highest level? Lack of clear leadership and guidance? Sad to watch them falling behind while Mercedes becoming stronger and stronger. It looks like Merc will dominate the rest of the season and Hamilton will win his 4th title. His achievement will be better than the one of Vettel. Interested to see when will Ferrari finally win...if at all. The title, I mean...

176

I doubt it has anything to do with Ferrari dropping their in season development. They have lacked on this since pretty much 2009 in my opinion, but in this case, I do believe it has more to do with Mercedes actually managing to unluck full potential of their car, rather than Ferrari's updates not delivering.

Still, next track is Hungary. Ferrari should be able to strike there, given its short wheelbase car. However, we should not forget that Hamilton is somewhat of a Hungaroring specialist.

177

They will rise to the top again one day. Nothing lasts forever.

178

Like Williams, like Lotus, like Brabham? Oh, wait...

179

I tend to disagree that HAM's achievement will be greater than VET's if he wins his 4th title.
The almost instant success of Bottas proves that you can put a journeyman into that car and he will instantly be able to fight for wins and titles. Anyone of the present grid short of Stroll and Ericson [actually, we may as well include them too] will fly in the current Merc and be a champ like Rosberg.

This puts Lewis's multi-title career in some perspective. For me, Seb edges Lewis.

180

Agreed Phil Glass, we have yet to see Hamilton win a race in a 'Toro Rosso' kind of car.

181

Cyber. Lewis is too good to drive a mid field car.

182

Phil. Valterri's instant success is validation of Merc's efforts to get the best driver they could, and he certainly is no "journeyman". Lets not forget that Webber won plenty of races as Seb's team mate, and if reliability had been any closer to even than it was at Merc last year, that Nico would have been beaten hust as soundly as he was for the preceding three years.

183

Come on. Bottas is no sludge. He did very well generally at Williams a d Massa could not break him. You also forget that but for the Mechanical breakdowns of Lewis Roberg would not have been WDC last year. Also other than Webber who else could have beaten Vettel. Ok Alonso one year due to other factors. You guys may not like Lewis"s perceived behaviour but you have to give him credit for his achievements and ability.

184

Vettel is not on the same level as Hamilton or Alonso, not as complete and versatile. He is super good, but he doesn't stand out the same way.

185

Thats a really interesting thought, who's world titles would be the greater achievement. That redbull with its aero was way ahead of the pack and pretty dominant, and at times it did seem like vettel was favoured by the team over his team mate, remember the swapped front wing for webbers and not to mention multi 21, webber made no secret that he felt like a number 2 driver to seb. True the Mercedes has had that power advantage but i think rosberg proved last year he was no mug and his qualifying pace was always a test for lewis. For me the pivotal factor in that lewis has won with 2 teams and that the year he won with mcclaren, it was ferrari who had the stronger car and won the constructors, Which i think is the last time we've had a driver win the championship in a car which has not won the constructors championship, i can't remember the last time that happened. And so for that reason i think Hamilton's is probably the greater achievement, but only just. As for who's the better driver in an identical car i don't think there's anything between them, both great racers, would be great to see it.

186
Stephen Taylor

Think it is is a bit disingenuous to call Bottas a Journeyman. If he was in this mid 30s race for several teams and not won a single race i'd agree. with you but that is not the case. Bottas is potential WDC material. Somebody has to drive the best cars otherwise they'd all be journeymen.

187

Massa is a journeyman. He couldn't even win a championship in the fastest car against the fragile Lewis. Even Nico managed that.

188

Bottas is 27, a bit premature to write him off!

189

Hello, do fragile people make it to the top in the most high pressure sport on the planet?

190

Bottas might be a late bloomer but he did not win any F1 race until he got into that Mercedes.

191

Cyber, and Kimi didn't win in the Sauber, Fernando didn't win in the Minardi etc etc

192

Has Hamilton ever won any F1 race without the power of the three pointed star? ... Mercedes-Benz.

How does that old saying go which ends in "Statistics"?

193

Stephen, it does seem that some people don't understand the meaning of the word "journeyman".

194

In the world of sports a journeyman is a sports player who is reliable but not outstanding. Aka "a solid journeyman professional".
This describes very well Bottas and his F1 career so far.

195
Stephen Tay;or

Not true read Tim W's comment. A journey man driver would be a driver whose never won a GP(or not for years). You can only define a driver a as journey once they finish there career. How do you know VB not have the capacity to be outstanding? Do you have a crystal ball?

196

As I wrote '...and his F1 career so far.'

Bottas did btw not win for years, so all good so far for defining him as a journeyman. That said, I would really like to se him move up to be outstanding! The potential could be there.

197

Cyber, in F1 terms a journyman is a driver who roams around the teams and seems to always be looking for a drive.

198

Yes, because Vettel was the only possible driver who could win in those incredible RBRs from 2011 to 2013... 🙃

You may want to consider what happened during the 2014 season as well!

199

Seb had no. 1 status at RBR from 2011 on. Webber wasn't going to be allowed to challenge, after they almost blew getting both titles in 2010.

Ricciardo's comprehensive demolition of Seb in 2014 did much to clarify his ranking in the overall driver pecking order. Hamilton and Alonso have never been manhandled like that.

Bottas has been better than Hamilton at two races this year ... Russia & Monaco. That's a pretty clear performance advantage for Lewis.

200

KRB, you appear to one of the many who use the RIC VET pairing as gospel according to the data. Red Bull management knew their 4xWDC was Red Car headed and made a management decision based on loyalty. Not so much sabotage as team management. Rightly so. Next someone will be along suggesting the only reason Rosberg out scored Hamilton last season was because MB fixed it.

Whilst none of us will ever really know exactly what goes on behind those closed doors, not to be confused with timely sanitised "official" press release statements later, lots of "unusual" things go on behind closed doors for numerous team management reasons. Not just loyalty. Of course, the fact that RIC's car was disqualified from the podium on advantageous fuel rate delivery issues was pure unfortunate coincidence. Aus GP was it ... theold memory aint what it was. . ,... Obviously ...then there was .. Oh forget it. Obviously the Toothsome and likeable Aussie is massively superior to "lucky" right place, right time Vettel.

One thing Ricciardo most certainly is now, is a much more mature and thoughtful"safe hands" driver and Horner and the rest of the Red Bull management will do well to hold onto him. Less so his current team mate ~ get a good price form him and let him go. I think the latter will come to pass sooner rather than later despite "official" Red Bull statements.

After all, tis business and not simply about the drivers who are merely over-hyped ( some more than others ) highly paid pawns in the serious bigger game of business chess. Mercedes-Benz are currently winning that according to the stats. Which never lie... 😉

Finally, the bare stats and data is rarely proof positive one way or the other.

201

RBR management knew Vettel was leaving? At which point? Vettel hadn't exercised his break clause, and Fernando still had two years on his Ferrari contract! To speak like that is fact is truly bizarre.

It emerged when RIC was given the drive in 2013 that he had beaten Seb's times in the simulator.

No driver would ever want to be so thoroughly shown up, as Vettel was by Ricciardo in 2014. It started as soon as Bahrain & China which was after Daniel's DSQ in AUS and his drive-through in Malaysia (and 10 place grid drop for BHN). If RBR were fixing it for Dan early doors, then they were doing a horrible job of it!

Vettel now is holding out for Kimi as his tag-along. Why is that? Seb knows he cannot afford another 2014.

202

"To speak like that is fact is truly bizarre."

No more bizarre than those who take the "official" press releases as gospel. Additionally, compounding that without access to what really goes one behind closed doors at both Red Bull and Ferrari irrespective of content of any contract. After all both those drivers were obviously very happy at their then current locations. If you ignore what was allowed to escape to the open source media.

Believe what you like. That is your valid choice.... and mine.

I bet you still believe the Ferrari is the faster car and as suggested recently elsewhere in other major F1 media outlets, Mercedes-Benz F1 cars are ...and here I quote ... "Underdogs". After all, the evidence certainly points to that.

203

Totally agree. Both had dominant cars but Mercedes dominance over these last few years dwarfs Red Bulls. It's not even close from a performance perspective.

204

Agree, the fastest car have advantage to covering the diver mistakes.
F1 2014 and 15, mercs could mess quali and still win miles away but not today.

205

Cheesypoof, an advantage is an advantage. If your car is three tenths quicker than anyone elses, you will win just as you would if your car is five tenths quicker.

206

Your example of Bottas can be applied to almost any driver in a 2nd car of a championship-winning team. Didn't Webber almost win in 2010? Leading until he choked 3 races from the end?

I think Seb is a great driver, but I also think that in 20 years, we'll look back upon this period of time and most experts will probably rate Lewis as better, partly because he's had better teammates, Alonso and Nico. Nico was also teammates to Schumi and he fared quite well, though Schumi was past his best by then. Lewis also has more wins, more poles, won even with fairly average cars from McLaren in 2010 and 11. Seb doesn't seem as able to drive around a chassis he doesn't like, as in 2014.

207

I think (and hope) that we are still to see great racing and results the coming years from both Vettel and Hamilton! The one to win the overall 'inter personal rating game' will probably be determined by who fares the best the coming seasons ahead of us. And how they both match up against the new generation of top drivers coming through.

208

How do you factor in The longer calendar that now exist into the equation? Of course Lewis will have more poles with so many races now on calendar where Senna and Schumacher accumulated it over many seasons Lewis has gone up in a very few relatively speaking.

209

Phil,
I tend to agree there was a lot more competition (except 2013) in Vettels titles, and he didn't get beaten by a teammate.

210

Lkfe, but then Seb's team mates are always surprisingly elderly, its almost as if he likes them that way....

211

If we are to believe what we see in the F1 press, Vettel and Raikkonen appear to get on well together. Almost as chummy as the Alonso Hamilton pairing back in 2007. was it? .. ;-). After all, when asked who are the best drivers in the pit lane, the answer came back Alonso and Hamilton ... according to themselves... 😉 How about that? That when Vettel quickly accumulated four WDCs on the bounce. Talk about professional jealousy. Just look at Alonso's face in one of the images back then. Yes, agreed, it's ALWAYS primarily about the car irrespective of who is pushing the pedals, paddles and twiddling the steering bars. Wheels they aint. 🙂 Them days long gone ...;-)

212

Webber is a better driver than Ros and Bott!

213

Lkfe. Is he? Was he? Mark was 34 in 2010 when the Red Bull steam roller began, and 38 when it finished. Nico was 28 in 2014, the same age Valterri is now. Do we think drivers peak performance occurs in their mid to late thirties, or earlier? I remember watching an interview with Mark where he was refreshingly candid about "losing a sniff in qualifying" due to his age, so even if we think that Mark was better than Nico and Valterri (and I would have them all on a similar level), then we arent really comparing like with like are we?

214

It is very difficult to make exact comparisons. The fact the some of Vettels championships were close could be explained by Vettel having a poor year in the fastest car. Masking the true dominance of the RB. The thing is Webber was past his best and we did not really see Vettel challenged that often by his team mate. That is until Dan, and we all know what happened that year.....

215

Jake the snake, not knowing is half the fun isn't it? You are correct in saying that making exact comparisons are difficult, there are far too many variables to accurately rate the drivers from our armchairs.

216

Well said TimW. Have a posi-+

Awarded strictly on merit of content and no obvious fan boy blind bias.

Currently watching the Tour on ITV4. Chris Froome just started today's stage. Wish him luck. I enjoy British successes and looking forward to more of that from a certain Mercedes driver.

Bring it on.

217
The Grape Unwashed

Vettel’s race was compromised by losing a position to Verstappen at the start and then by pitting early to make the undercut on Verstappen, which meant he had a longer second stint than ideal on the soft tyres.

If think Verstappen had such a good race he is deserving of more than a footnote about his impact on Vettel. If Ricciardo could overtake faster Mercedes-powered cars on the straights thanks to DRS, it's staggering that Vettel couldn't use the same technique to overtake Verstappen's much slower car - this was a brilliant performance from Verstappen, and for me the most entertaining bit of the race!

A word about Ferrari's tyre wear, Vettel made a point of explaining before the race that Ferrari were significantly quicker than Mercedes through Copse - that would also have translated into increased wear on the front lefts. The other side of the coin is that by working their tyres hard Ferrari have had the advantage at several races this season (especially Sochi and Monaco).

218

Just like his teammate kept the late charging HAM in the turned up top mode fastest car in F1 at bay the race before. DRS is just about right at most circuits, with good use of the battery horses providing some defence, but generally allows the faster car and driver to pass if they are good enough.

219

Renault customer engines have more power than merc customer engines.Remember once in 14 cannot remember which track but Massa was in front with about 5laps to go then pitted for tyres.Knew then merc customer teams were not allowed to win.

220

Scott, you must be referring to the 2014 Abu Dhabi GP. Felipe took the lead on lap 32 when Lewis pitted ahead of him, but he was always going to lose that lead when he had to pit himself. Felipe came in with 12 laps to go, not five, and it was because he had to, not because Mercedes told him to!

221

@ Scott...any evidence to support that allegation vis a vis renault versus mercedes? As has been mentioned all mercedes customers now have the updated engines.

222

I'm not sure about that scott -the Williams has been the fastest in a straight line (of any team) almost every year in the hybrid era, although they have put more wing on this year trying to balance the cornering.
RB and a certain extent TR, have much more drivability, but that comes from the chassis.

223

There was nothing interesting about it, as moving under braking is a type of defence he uses which is just rubbish, he had a piss poor race as once Vettel undercut him he left him for dead till his tyres failed.

224

Rockie, while I'm pleased to see another driver getting your unique brand of performance appraisal, I would ask that you rewatch Max going around the outside of Seb at the start, very interesting!

225

he had a piss poor race as once Vettel undercut him he left him for dead till his tyres failed.

The good thing here Rockie, is though you're clearly disappointed you haven't lost your dignity 😉

226
The Grape Unwashed

Verstappen was driving within the rules. Vettel was in a much faster car with the benefit of DRS along the very long Hanger Straight, it's pretty amazing that Verstappen managed to hold him off.

227

@ Rockie...well said and also very true.

228

Aside from actually finishing I don't think there was anything remarkable of Verstappen's race other that he managed to get by Vettel twice in the first lap and then proceeded to block him for 18 laps using all of his tricks and even leaving the race track a few times to just stay ahead of Vettel. Once the Ferrari went into the pits Max for the undercut Max was unable to pick up the pace to cover him off. Obviously the slightly slow pit stop didn't help the situation either. Vettel then drove about the same times as the leaders ahead of him, and Bottas was not able to pull out a sufficient gap before the pit stop. But then of course with the faster fresh tires and some extra Power Vettel was severely compromised and although he tried to defend and Bottas went the same way off as Verstappen did, to stay with Vettel on his first attempt which then led to the flat spot on the Ferrari. Now Hindsight is 20/20, however I did think while watching the race that Vettel should have pitted right then and there to keep his options towards the end of the race open, but of course that would've meant to lose position to Max and hope that his tires degrade enough to get by him.

Regarding Vettel being much faster through Copse. On Thursday all the drivers were asked repeatably if they would do Copse flat out this year. And I did notice that Lewis kept saying that it would be possible, but doing so would compromise lap time. I wonder if that was maybe a puzzle piece to his success this weekend, to know when to give up speed to gain more elsewhere.
I'm still hopeful that this weekend was the low spot for Vettel and that I might be able to repeat his RBR form where he usually got stronger in the second half of the season. Of course now are RBR are closer and there are grid penalties looming.

229
The Grape Unwashed

and Bottas went the same way off as Verstappen did, to stay with Vettel on his first attempt which then led to the flat spot on the Ferrari

You seem to be under the impression these drivers (Verstappen and Bottas) unfairly short cut the circuit? In truth Vettel pushed both off to try to prevent them overtaking him, so I find it hard to sympathise that he also flat-spotted his tyres! Verstappen simply out-drove Vettel in a slower car last weekend.

230

I disagree. The way that corner goes, it allows overdriving because the track comes back if you go across the curbs. Unfortunately we only get in car footage or the one angle off this corner. A few over head shots from a helicopter show the nature of this corner pretty well. Therefore although Seb legitimately out braked MAX and put his car on the racing line inside Verstappen, Max could just go off track knowing that there will be no consequence when he comes back on track next to Vettel and then having the inside line he can brake late and force Vettel off the track in the slow left right kink after. This is what happens when all runoff areas are asphalt and going off has almost no consequence. Vice versa with Bottas first attempt. He hadn't build enough offset speed to Vettel and yet he tried it anyway from too far back to go around the outside. There was no reason for Vettel to concede the racing line. The next lap Bottas set it up much better and passed Vettel already on the straight leading into the corner, using its better tires and the Mercedes power.

231

The only reason he got by Seb was Kimi held him up

232

That is Max, a bit of a bully on defensive side. Everybody got a taste of it.
Ferrari chances were compromised from the start. Based on reports brakes were one of the reasons.

233
The Grape Unwashed

Vettel pushed two drivers off the track, so it's a bit rich to moan about Verstappen being a bully. Max is driving within the rules, i.e. fairly.

234

In fact I enjoy Max, he is up on my list, so no moaning.
And yes, he is a bit of a bully, it is in his blood, like father like son, or close to it. Just keep watching him...

235

Max's moves under braking are not right, but on Sunday Vettel pushed Max off first, then Max kept his foot in, and kept the place. Danny Sullivan even said that they couldn't penalize Max for leaving the track, because Vettel had given him no room.

236

I think that's a very good point about tyre wear Grape.

This year seems to have reversed the established pattern that Merc work their tyres harder than Ferrari.

237

Thanks James.

Wonder if Pirelli regret accepting demand for softer compounds and will refuse in the future- you'd have to think so. Shame really

238

Tiff. The compounds are harder this year than last tear, not softer.

239

Agree, fair play to them, their calcs were right after all.. Maybe they should trust them more and just leave it to the teams to decide whether or not to gamble in this way more often.

240

Like I've said, there's only one team using team orders plainly this season so far, and that's Mercedes. HAM...ilton of course makes public statements that Ferrari are only backing Vettel etc.. and then he'll get on the radio and ask his team to make his team mate slow down. Gotta love the hypocrisy from a guy in the fastest car for years.. I'd criticize Mercedes the same but Toto has been quite fair in some assessments of late.

241

Don't worry Cheesy, Nico let Lewis past in a race and Lewis still could win the championship against him.

The Snapchat weekend in Japan, (whispered)

242

Funny thing - look who the latest partner of F1 is - Snapchat!

Looks to me like Liberty should be paying Lewis royalties.

Regardless - Cheesy - the man could run on water and you would have some issue or another. Your constant imagined 'failures' really could do with substance rather than constant trying to run the narrative by changing history.

Put simply - the facts rather make your constant rants look silly...

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@cheesy
Yes, he asked. Did Merc comply?

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Most dominant car ever

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He lied right into stewards faces, so not surprising at all.

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Andrew, do you really think there is a driver on the grid who has never lied to the stewards?!

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Yes, I do.

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Andrew, go on......

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Tornillo Amarillo

HAM asked that once in 11 seasons -and I don't know why-. It was rejected.

But still it is the preferred line from hard critics nowadays -and I do know why-.

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Lets not mention Lewis in the same race asking the stewards to give a bigger penalty,.............. while the race was going on.

"Charlie give him a bigger penalty so I can get past! Ok that didn't work. Tell my teammate to slow down so I can get past".

This is taking the saying "Do your talking on track" to a whole new level.

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Hello, can you remember Seb demanding penalties for pretty much everyone in Mexico last year, or that time Fernando was complaining about Rosberg's dangerous driving in Bahrain 2012? The truth of course is that barely a race goes by without at least one driver demanding another gets penalised, but obviously you are only interested in one driver aren't you?

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But there's only one driver who always says he does his talking on the track.

The Snapchat weekend in Japan (.whispered)

All I seen at Silverstone was a lot of over compensation. I knew there would be some PR stunt after the London no show. When did Lewis tell someone to get Billy Munger to Silverstone. I'd say it was as soon as Lewis knew he wasn't going to London and not before.

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Hello. No, I think I have heard all the drivers say similar stuff before.
What do you want to say about Snapchat? Just come out and say it, no need to whisper.
All you 'seen' at Silverstone was Lewis doing the same stuff with the fans that he did when he won last year, and the year before that, and the year before that!
You have no idea when Billy was invited to the garage, or why. Pretending that you do just outs you.

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Hey I would just like a look at the email dates, that's all.

Just like I would like a look at the email dates from team Hamilton to Sky F1 to set up the interview after Singapore. I'm guessing the Monday morning.

He outed himself in that interview (and in Sepang). I wonder if he planned it himself or did his Dad/"Brand" Hamilton come up with the plan to put pressure on the team. In the end the pressure just went on to fragile Lewis,............. and he crumbled. Nico Rossberg is a world champion when Lewis was his teammate.

The Snapchat weekend in Japan (whispered).

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Hello, then you should submit a freedom of information request asking to see those emails, and when you have seen them you can comment on their contents from a position of knowledge, rather than where you are now, ie the opposite.
F1 drivers dont request interviews, the journalist does that. What did he say in that interview that vexes you so? Im struggling to remember to be honest. I do remember Lewis followed the Singapore weekend with four straight poles and victories, is this what you mean by "crumbled"?

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Is it because Hamilton has always professed that he only wants total equality among team-mates? Is that why? And then when you get caught asking for favours after you've already been helped by your team in having your team-mate move over, multiple times? Or is it because last year Nico was asked to move over by the team and did, but when the situation was reversed Hamilton refused, instead wanting to make things worse for his team-mate? Could that be why, the hypocrisy of it all, while having the fastest car for years in a row, maybe?

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Tornillo Amarillo

No, that's not the reason Cheesy.

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Cheesypoof. One team order in Bahrain where they were trying to go for the win, and that made zero difference to Valterri's finishing position, doesnt really outweigh Ferrari throwing Kimi under the bus in Monaco, and trying to do it again at Silverstone. Just to be clear the lead driver getting the worst strategy is worse than the kind of mild team order that Merc used in Bahrain.

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You realize he already knows this ... James did a good summary of how Mercedes approaches racing, on another thread, and their calls have been totally consistent with that. When you twist yourself in knots, then don't know how to extricate yourself, then you create posts like CP's. Embarrassing and cringeworthy ... the crying baby retort to you was especially so.

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He's been officially asked more than once by Mercedes to let his team-mate through. You can look it up. Meanwhile your Ferrari theory is just an unproved theory. Not quite the same is it.

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Cheesypoof. Valterri was asked to let Lewis through in Bahrain when he was two seconds a lap slower and about to be overtaken anyway, there is no team in any series in history that wouldn't have done exactly the same thing in that situation. There are plenty of teams who wouldnt have given a massive strategic advantage to their second placed driver as Ferrari did in Monaco though, and Mercedes are one of them. You say that this is an "unproven theory", but the fact remains that Kimi was leading comfortably, and then Seb passed him in the pits!

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No point talking about facts if you are then going to disregard them. Bottas was asked twice, at two different points, to let Hamilton through, which he did. Twice. You keep bringing up once but it was twice in a grand prix. He said later it is the "worst" thing you could be asked to do. But here you are arguing that every team would do it (Force India did not), that Ferrari did with no actual proof they did (there was no team order), and that it effectively doesn't matter, when clearly to Bottas it does. Keep in mind Lewis Hamilton has ignored this same methodology in the past to suit his own fancy (last year), and it's just a weak-willed, baseless argument. We saw last year that Nico let his team mate past because his team mate Lewis couldn't overtake him, Lewis collected points because of it, and then disobeyed the team later in the season. Fool me once... by the way, you're discussing this when the driver you are touting (Hamilton) complains about unfairness at every turn when things don't go his way. Bottas has no contract, is under far more pressure, and has to concede. Equal team mates my foot.

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Cheesypoof. Twice in one race, or to put it another way Mercedes have used team orders ar one Grand Prix this year.
Force India tried repeatedly to get Sergio to move over for Esteban in Canada, and his refusal cost them a likely podium, in Baku they didn't call off the battle between their drivers and it might have cost them a one two! To compare like for like you need to come up with an example of a team with one driver having a chance of winning and the other having none.
Im not saying Ferrari issued a team order, just that they gave Seb the best strategy, despite him running second behind his team mate. This is a fact. Yet again you choose to twist what people say to suit your objective, I said that letting Lewis through in Bahrain made no difference to Valterri's finishing position, not that he didnt mind doing it. His post race comments are about his dissapointment with his own performance causing the team order to be inevitable, not with yhe team for giving it.
Lewis ignored an order to increase his pace last year, not an order to let Nico through. Two very different situations, but ultimately his actions did not affect Mercedes' finishing position in that race.
We saw last year Nico let his team mate through, again because he was so much slower than him, nobody can overtakf at Monaco without taking a big risk, so again Mercedes did exactly what Ferdari and all the others would have done and switched their drivers to try snd improve their overall finishing position. You keep saying that Lewis gets the advantage of team orders, but doesn't return the favour but he has never cost any team points by refusing a team order and he has never been two seconds a lap slower than his team mate.
Bottas has the same contract for next year that Kimi does, but he does have the added bonus of driving for a team that does not and will not strategically hamper him if he finds himself leading.

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What on earth is your point? I'm the one twisting words? I've literally stated facts. Ferrari have yet to issue a team order. Your theories are simply that, theories. Hamilton in Bahrain alone benefitted from team orders twice, he needed the assistance both times, not just once, and Bottas suffered for it, not just mentally (as he's already stated) but one could argue points-wise since now he is in with a shot at the title. When you say Bottas was unaffected thats only a claim that you make after the fact, obviously during a race this is not predetermined. This is exactly similar to Nico letting Hamilton through in Monaco, simply because he didn't have to, he could have held him back and would have benefitted in the Title race. Lewis didn't assist Nico later in the year, so listening to the team isn't mandatory it seems. So why should anyone listen? It's the simple basis of any agreement or partnership, and why he can probably never co-exist with a competent team-mate without having something to whine about on social media, criticising his mechanics, etc. It's happened with every team-mate bar one, Heikki, who has already stated the minute he joined Mclaren he was the number 2 driver.

265

There could be only one reason for Ferrari to leave Kimi out in the manner they did in Austria, and it wasn't to aid Kimi's own race.

266

So happy that Ferrari couldn't screw Kimi's race with some idiotic strategy in this race.

267

Sami, they tried, but Seb wasn't quick enough to take advantage.

268

If Ferrari don't turn up in Hungary and Mercedes have truly ironed out their tyre issues, one gets the feeling that the season might be over much sooner than we expected. It will be a pity as Vettel vs. Hamilton was shaping up really well...

269

Remember when Mark Webber left F1 and went to sports cars? One of his first observations was the tires in this series were meant to race, and not wear out early. He loved the idea. This idea of F1 tire strategies to handicap everyone down to the same level is beginning to get old.

270

+100 Gene!
It's like putting a bungy rope on Hussain Bolt!

271

One thins is clear on the chart, after lap 40 Vettel lost a lot of pace, so clearly knew he had a problem with the front tyres, so a pit stop then could have saved his Points lead.

272

James, do you think Max could have been third had he not stopped for tyres at the end? It would be close with Kimi, though...

273

The other small point worth noting is that Esteban Ocon finished ahead of Sergio Perez in a race for the first time, having passed him off the start line.

Didn't Ocon finish ahead in Monaco? Or did Perez not make the finish? Pretty sure he was classified.

274

So Bottas run his softs for qually and then for 32 more laps in the race, running in traffic and pulling off overtakes. Yet Vettel could only just manage 32 before the blow up.. I wonder what Ferrari are doing different set-up wise? Or was it truely all down to Vettels crap wheel to wheel racing?

275

James, do you know what caused Vettels puncture? The massive lock up defending against Bottas must have been a factor?

276

Yes but it was the blistering that caused it

277

Pirelli said the lock up had nothing to do with it!

278

Do anyone know what happened to Raikkonen's tyres, did they suddenly delaminate totally or did their grip suddenly drop off a cliff?

279

Well looks like the 2017 F1 season is now a formality following Sunday's demonstration 1-2 run of Mercedes-Benz superiority.

At least 75% of both Red Bull and Ferrari Drivers literally justified that often misused cliche by "driving the wheels off" their cars literally in a futile attempt to match the Silver Arrows. Look at the state of those fronts :~

https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7b6695774f5f13cecc185bdc430a5277d43f05b8ab80e661178ee7b128d76606.jpg

280

"Another thing that caught out several teams was that the pit loss time was longer than in previous seasons, as the cars were travelling more quickly on the track relative to the cars in the pit lane. For teams that were limited on engine mileage in practice and were not able to devote three laps to a simulation of this, positions were lost in the race."

Something seems wrong if teams can't figure out the answer, virtually, if they didn't have the time to do an actual on-track simulation. Or, why not just time another team doing a simulation, or even during the race, watch the first car to pit, and calculate the delta.

281

Hi James.

Have you ever shared your opinion on who you think the greatest F1 drivers are? I'd be very interested to read your thoughts on that subject!

282

Why, it would only lead to a lot of disagreements and bashing in the comments 😉

283

Not really because you can only speak about drivers you have seen race. I start with Senna and Prost really because I was only 7 when Jackie retired and never saw Clark race - even though my Dad was friends with him

So in my era Senna, Prost, Schumacher, Alonso and Hamilton are the standouts and Seb close behind because he's brilliant, but slightly less versatile and I think versatility is one of the most important skills of a racing driver

284

If versatile, why do Hamilton then have those Full On or Full Off weekends? Some race weekends he is outstanding from first FP, Qualification and in the race. And then come next race weekend and its like he can get nothing to work well for him? All while we have seen his 'stable teammates' get on with their usual 'good qualification and racing' race weekend after race weekend.

285

@ james...versatility/ adaptability. Both of these attributes were the reason why the hominids rule the planet. Not all drivers are 'born' equal. Those that have an abundance of these characteristics tend to be successful. Some drivers for example find wet races are their 'bete noir' whilst others flourish and so on and on over many other issues.

286

James, I respect your opinion, but IMHO versatility is not what LH is about. Beaten by not so stellar team mates, Glock title with with one point difference and less podiums than the runner up-submissive Massa, always good cars with Merc standing out as a monster car, just think if he did not join Mercedes, clutch schooling and his struggle in a few races this year when Bottas easily eclipsed him, so where is that versatility. Is he good? Absolutely. More? Take his car and watch him struggle miserably.

287

Lol, Beaten by not so stellar team mates? I know what you doing here... but humor me, which teammate has ever beaten Lewis? on merit over the whose season? Don't talk about those who have benefited from Lewis reliability problems. We all know that any machine is more likely to break when its gets pushed to its limit the most that not.

288

AlanF1. And right there in your response is the reason you shouldn't get involved in these discussions. You do not like Lewis, that's fine but you have allowed that dis like to blind you to his strengths and over react to his weaknesses. You cant really think that your massively cherry picked stats will cause a real expert to think again in his assesment can you?

289

James, no mention of the two Finnish champions which is understandable. What's your opinion on Mika vs Kimi?

290

James, Hamilton was only seven or younger when Senna died, but he is carrying the batton for him!!

291

James, thanks so much for your reply! Great bit of trivia about your father and Clark.

(Btw, your commentary at the 02 Austrian GP is my all time favorite race call)

292

Cheers! I remember it well! With Mark Blundell

293

Verstappen can now afford to be very aggressive in races as his chances of winning the championship have gone

Is it mathematically inpossible for Max to win the drivers championship now? It would be interesting to see a list of drivers that are mathematically still able to win the title.... Is it only the top 4? (Merc and Ferrari drivers?)

294

Every driver can still win the drivers championship, in theory.

Vettel has 177 points. There are 10 races remaining so a maximum of 250 points are still available.

295

The maths isn't difficult. Anyone within 25x[number of remaining races] of the current points leader has a mathematical chance of becoming WDC.